Marion Hayden is part of the great Detroit Jazz bass legacy. As a young protégé of trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, she learned improvisation, ensemble performance, repertoire and a deep appreciation for jazz and its creators. Marion combines these influences in a unique jazz perspective, creating a swinging sound with the bass which is both authentic and fresh. Her music embodies the spirit of tradition and adventure in jazz. Marion has been involved in countless ensembles throughout her career, including Straight Ahead and the all-female group Venus, as well as performing and recording with jazz legends while releasing her own work, including her solo album Visions.
Deeply steeped in the generations of great Jazz and Blues that centers the rich musical legacy of Detroit), Shahida Nurullah is one of the motor city’s premier and most treasured jazz vocalists. Her outstanding musical intelligence is vibrantly reflected through a versatile repertoire that includes blues, jazz, samba, bossa nova, show tunes and more. Shahida has performed at the Detroit International Jazz Festival on a number of occasions including with Charlie Gabriel of the Preservation Hall Band and with clarinetist Eddie Daniels in a jazz version of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. Shahida performed in the inaugural festival with Kenn Cox and the Guerilla Jam Band. She performed an “American Songbook” concert with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and as a guest vocalist with the Preservation Hall Band at Preservation Hall New Orleans, LA. Shahida and her trio regularly play at clubs throughout southeastern Michigan, including The Dirty Dog Jazz Café and Cliff Bell’s. Shahida recorded and performed with internationally lauded pianist Geri Allen’s band “Open on All Sides,” throughout Europe. The New York Times lauded her performance with Allen at New York’s Knitting Factory and she is a recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award.
Allen Dennard is a trumpeter, composer and bandleader who was born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Around his senior year of high school Allen had the privilege of being mentored by the great Marcus Belgrave, one of Detroit’s own legendary trumpeters. From then on Allen’s involvement in jazz increased exponentially. After high school, Allen decided to attend the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he received a full ride from the university’s jazz department. From then on he obtained other pivotal opportunities that would further him in his music career. Allen has made three appearances as a sideman in the Detroit Jazz Festival. In January 2019, Allen was chosen by the Detroit MetroTimes as one of ten artist they thought would become famous in that year. Soon after that Allen was approached with many interview requests, one being with Detroit Public Television/ PBS and the other being with Honeysuckle Magazine, a New York City based magazine company. Aside from that Allen has worked with several artist from the Detroit Music Factory label, such as Gayelynn Mckinney, De’Sean Jones and Sean Dobbins. He has also worked with Detroit saxophonist David McMurray from the Blue Note record label. Adding to that, Allen also got the opportunity to share the stage with New York based saxophonist J.D Allen, who is with HighNote Records.
Multi-genre performing and recording musician, Brendon Davis has quickly become one of the young performers in great demand. He placed nationally in the NAACP ACT-SO competitions winning Bronze Medals in Music Composition (2015) and Contemporary Instrumental Music (2016) while also being the assistant music director for the closing award ceremonies. He has a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Michigan where he is pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies with a concentration in Piano and a minor in Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship studying with world-renowned pianists, Benny Green and Andy Milne. He has also been featured on Fox 2 News multiple times and has performed in venues in the Detroit area such as Cliff Bells, Aretha Franklin’s Jazz Cafe, Bakers Keyboard Lounge.
Tariq Gardner, an electrifying drummer, composer and educator from Detroit who has his roots in Detroit’s rich and storied jazz tradition. He was brought up in the music by his mother, bassist, Marion Hayden, who greatly impacted his musical knowledge and instinct. A broad lover of music, Tariq is driven to bring the worlds of Jazz, Neo-Soul,Hip-Hop, and live instrument oriented music together in the city. “Detroit’s been a musical haven for too many people to only be known for Motown”-Gardner
A 2018 graduate of the University of Michigan’s Jazz Studies program, Tariq has served as the Drummer for the John Douglas Quartet from 2017-19, led groups at the Charles H. Wright Museums African World Fest in both 2017 and 2018, has performed with the Detroit Jazz Fest All Star Alumni Band (a three month residency featuring pianist Cameron Graves) and at the Cape May Jazz Festival (2019), and continues to work as a drummer, composer, and bandleader for major events in and around Detroit (including his own group the Evening Star).